In the previous three posts I sought to include examples and illustrations of why Jesus wants to draw close to us as a friend and looked at how His love moved Him to die on our behalf, in spite of us being His enemies at the time. My point is that the opportunity for intimacy with Jesus isn’t dependent on our skills or abilities in any area. It only depends on our desire and willingness to draw near (see Jas. 4:8 below). Jesus loved and wanted to draw near to us in spite of where we were prior to our conversion. How much more does He want to draw close once we have been born again?
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NKJV)
3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)
Have you wondered about how to draw close to someone living inside your skin? Sound strange? Viewed from the outside our faith can seem a little odd – we have someone intimately part of us who wants to get to know us! Not only does the Living One live within us, He wants us to draw close to the Father’s throne to experience intimacy. One way the scriptures describe Jesus sacrificial death is in Hebrews.
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Jesus saw joy on the other side of the cross. The joy of being reunited with his Father certainly, but His primary purpose for taking on flesh was to redeem and restore all who would come to Him. His future joy lay in His nature being birthed in all who received Him.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)
We have a new nature and are clothed in His righteousness. If we recognize that the throne of judgment is also the throne of grace we will respond by coming boldly into His presence and drawing near to His heart. After all, the invitation and door are both always open.
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)